Comfort food

I have a total ‘thing’ for macaroni cheese…and lasagne. I could have them both at the same time, no problem. Except there is a huge problem if you have a dairy intolerance. Not so difficult to make both dishes gluten free, just choose your favourite brand of gf pasta shapes/penne/lasagne sheets and replace. But making a dairy free cheese sauce…..now that’s tricky let me tell you.

I’ve read a million different recipe suggestions for a replacement cheese sauce but never found a version that I like. I don’t want a sort-of cheese sauce, or a kind-of cheese sauce if you shut your eyes and hold your nose, or some sort of strange vegetable alternative cheese sauce. I want cheese sauce. And if I don’t get it I will stamp my foot like my two year old and have a tantrum.

So, I’ve been experimenting and I’ve come up with my first successful oozy, gooey, creamy, quite moorish dairy free no cheese cheese sauce. Phew. I will have more attempts at some other versions I’ve read about (one including butternut squash and one including cauliflower?!) when I make macaroni cheese again but for now this one did the trick.

Look….can you tell the difference?

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So I made this for my kids tea and gave them the version on the left and I thoroughly enjoyed the version on the right. They’re not exactly perfectly totally and utterly the same, but it was a pretty bloody good attempt I thought!

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Left: regular cheese sauce. Middle: shared ingredients. Right: gdfree cheese sauce.

I am sure you all know how to make a regular cheese sauce, I like to add a teaspoon of dijon or wholegrain mustard, a good shake of lemon juice and generous with s&p.

For the gdfree version it’s a bit different:

Melt 2 tbsp veg butter alternative (I use the pure sunflower one). In a separate jug mix 1 tbsp gf plain flour (I have Asda’s one on the go at the mo) with 1 tbsp of df milk (I use almond milk for everything) to make a paste and slowly add more almond milk making sure it remains smooth, otherwise you’ll have a lumpy sauce, until you have a good half a pint of so. Add to the melted butter and then turn up to a medium heat and whisk. It does like to get lumpy so keep whisking. Flavour with 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1tsp of both onion powder and garlic powder (I didn’t have any at the time so cooked down some fresh onion/garlic and blitzed it before adding it back into the sauce), 1tsp mustard, a good shake of lemon juice and generous with the s&p. When it’s thickened up to resemble your usual cheese sauce consistency take off the heat and serve. 

As you can see it’s hard to tell the difference visually between the two sauces. Sorry for the bit rubbish photos but wanted to prove a point! Regular is on the left and dairy free is on the right. So you lose none of the texture, creamy consistency or colour.

Obviously this sauce can be made in larger quantities for using in your family lasagne and I don’t think that they’ll be able to tell the difference. So hallelujah…macaroni cheese, tick, lasagne, tick…..now what shall I try next? Any requests, message me.

PS. I apologise that I’m still trying to sort the blog out, I’m figuring out how to add new pages, new categories, new clever things in the side bar and new info, but it’s far from perfect so please bear with lovely peeps! Ax

PPS. Please subscribe (using the clever thing up at the top of the sidebar) to follow my blog posts by email if you’re interested in seeing lots more delish gdfree recipes and ideas…it would also make me feel very popular and loved!

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